North America hosts World Congress on Conservation Agriculture focused on sustainability and economics this month

The 6th World Congress on Conservation Agriculture (WCCA) in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on June 22-25, 2014, showcases the practical application of conservation practices to improve agricultural sustainability. For the first time in conference history, North America will play host to hundreds of conservation-minded individuals from across the world.

Registration remains open at http://www.ctic.org/WCCA/Conference Registration/.
The WCCA program emphasizes innovations in conservation technology and sustainable practices and highlights grower success stories. It also features discussion on the latest developments in research and policy issues. WCCA is a tremendous opportunity to show the world what benefits conservation agriculture can provide and highlight the companies and organizations involved in conservation agriculture.

Several keynote speakers headline the Congress.

Howard G. Buffett, global advocate for conservation agriculture, operates his own farm and manages three of The Buffet Foundation’s research farms in Illinois, Arizona, and South Africa. Mr. Buffett has traveled to 130 countries, documenting the challenges of preserving our biodiversity while providing adequate resources to meet the needs of a growing global population. He has written seven books on conservation, wildlife, and the human condition. His latest book is 40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World.

Dr. David Montgomery, author of Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations, writes about the rise and fall of civilizations based on the soil stewardship practices used by those civilizations. In his book, Montgomery said, “We are running out of dirt, and it’s no laughing matter.” He

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sees no-till farming “the hope for a new agricultural revolution that might help us avoid the fate of previous civilizations.”

Dr. Dwayne Beck manages Dakota Lakes Research Farm in Pierre, S. D., developing programs that have allowed producers to adopt profitable conservation agriculture techniques in a large portion of central South Dakota and throughout the grassland ecosystems of North America.

Over 50 additional speakers from around the world will give presentations and panel discussions. Poster board presentations also will highlight conservation practices used around the world. The Congress focuses on the following themes:

GROWING MORE, MORE EFFICIENTLY

Sustainable Intensification describes producing higher yields while decreasing the amount of inputs required per unit. Recent changes in commodity prices have renewed the need for more efficient use of our economic and environmental resources.

WEATHERPROOFING CROPS

Climate Resilient Systems withstand challenging weather patterns that are constantly changing. While no crop can be completely weatherproof, changes in management and the use of conservation practices can improve the ability of crops to withstand unfavorable conditions.

INCREASING ADOPTION THROUGH INNOVATION

Transferring technology and knowledge to farmers is essential in establishing sustainable practices as the standard in agriculture worldwide. Sharing ideas for conservation agriculture implementation move the world towards achieving this goal.

New, sustainable innovations presented at WCCA can be implemented on the attendees’ own farms, create exciting new research opportunities, and help those who frame policy to better understand how to successfully encourage rapid adoption of conservation agriculture practices.

For more information, visit http://www.wcca6.org.
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Bringing WCCA to Winnipeg is the work of many volunteers from a host of conservation organizations over several years. The organizations formed a network called
the Conservation Agriculture Systems Alliance (CASA), which is composed of conservation agriculture organizations in the U.S. and Canada such as the Manitoba-North Dakota Zero Tillage Farmers Association. CASA strengthens both individual efforts and the mutual goal of increasing conservation in agriculture.

WCCA relies on the volunteer efforts of participating organizations and individuals from producers, government agencies, academic institutions, private sector companies, non- governmental organizations and more. Commercial sponsors also play a significant role by providing expertise in their respective fields.

Leading the way as platinum sponsors are Dow AgroSciences, Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Monsanto, The Mosaic Company and Seed Hawk. Shining as Gold Sponsors are Agrium, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Syngenta.

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, Bayer CropScience, CropLife Canada and Farm Credit Canada serve as Silver Sponsors. Featured as Bronze Sponsors are Canadian Fertilizer Institute; Coalition on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases; Ducks Unlimited; DuPont Pioneer; Farm Foundation, NFP; The Fertilizer Institute; The Nature Conservancy; Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture; SaskCanola; the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The North Dakota Department of Agriculture, North Dakota Corn Growers Association and Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association also contributed to the WCCA effort.
The Farm Journal Media Group and the Glacier Media Group serve as exclusive media sponsors for WCCA.

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